<![CDATA[Azarius News]]> http://azarius.es/news/ The Very Advanced, Utterly Cool, Super Duper Azarius RSS Generator v2.34.445 info@azarius.net (azarius.net) <![CDATA[Amsterdam clubbers and ravers drink heavily and take more ecstasy]]> http://azarius.es/news/604/Amsterdam_clubbers_and_ravers_drink_heavily_and_take_more_ecstasy/
Amsterdam club scene in flux
The club scene of Amsterdam is under pressure. Smart young entrepreneurs organize parties at alternative locations, especially outside the city centre. This trend has been going on for a while. The key word is 'rave'. Raves are dance events that are not tied to a fixed location or a fixed evening. They range from small festivals to semi-legal parties, inside or in the open air.

There are clubbers who swear by raves, others prefer to go to clubs. But these scenes are not strictly separated: there are ravers that occasionally go to a club and clubbers that also visit raves. Another striking development in Amsterdam is the significantly expanding number of students. This is reflected within the nightlife. In the previous survey, in 2008, raves were not yet in vogue. Back then only clubbers were examined and 54% of them were students. In 2013, this applies to 66% of clubbers and ravers.

Alcohol remains popular
Alcohol remains the most commonly used substance. In the club or on a rave 88% drank alcohol. In addition, 67% took alcohol before going out and 16% would enjoy an alcoholic beverage afterwards. In total 93% of the party people drink alcohol on a night out with an average of 8 glasses.

Ecstasy is more popular than ever, amphetamine loses its negative image
55% of the clubbers and ravers in Amsterdam used ecstasy within the last month. If we compare this to 2008 these figures have more than doubled. Nearly a quarter (23%) of the clubbers had used amphetamines in the last month. In 2008 it was still 6%. Use of ecstasy during nights out increased from 9% to 29%. Amphetamine use during nights increased from 4% to 13%. The increase in the use of ecstasy and speed was mainly due to the ravers, but also the clubbers of 2013 who used these substances more than in 2008. On a night out, ravers took ecstasy more often (42% vs 17%) but they also took amphetamines more frequently than clubbers (34% vs 14%).

The dose of ecstasy pills was historically high in 2013: an average of 148 mg of MDMA per pill. There was much variation in the quality of pills, but nearly two out of three pills (64%) contained a high dose (> 140 mg MDMA). In recent years, amphetamine (speed) received a more positive image among trendsetters in the Amsterdam nightlife. Speed is relatively inexpensive. Incidentally what was sold as amphetamine in 2013 often largely consisted out of caffeine.

Moderate interest in new psychoactive substances (NPS)
Especially after the 'ecstasy crisis' of 2009, the supply of NPS grew rapidly. However, NPS are usually only used for experimental purposes. Up to now the usage of NPS remains on a much lower level than that of the 'classics'. 15% of the clubbers and ravers had, at one point, taken 4-FA (4-fluoro) but during the last month it was only used by a small 1%. Mephedrone first had a strong popularity surge in some European countries during the 'ecstasy crisis' but within the Amsterdam club scene it never really caught on and is now hardly ever used here.


Bonger Institute (UvA), Jellinek Prevention (Dutch only)]]>
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/604/Amsterdam_clubbers_and_ravers_drink_heavily_and_take_more_ecstasy/
<![CDATA[The difference between ritual and recreational use of psychedelics]]> http://azarius.es/news/603/The_difference_between_ritual_and_recreational_use_of_psychedelics/
There are six types of brain waves, each with its own frequency, resulting in a particular type of consciousness.

1. Alfa (8-12Hz) waves are connected to a state of relaxation.

2. Beta (16-38Hz) waves aim to deal with stressful situations. The strong feeling of self is the product of beta waves.

3. Theta (4-8Hz) waves occur when you’re in a deeply relaxed state, usually just before you fall asleep or wake up. These waves are also referred to as the creative layer.

4. Delta (0.5-4 Hz) waves occur in babies and during deep sleep.

5. Gamma (30-80 Hz) waves occur during strong mental activity, such as anxiety, problem solving and when you’re in a state of high alert.

6. Sensory-Motor Rhythm (12-16Hz) waves occur during physical rest and strong sensorimotor consciousness.

Effects of psychedelics on brain wave pattern
It’s been shown that recreational use of LSD, psilocybin and ayahuasca causes the alpha and theta brain waves to decline and the beta waves to increase, which strengthens the ego. This contrasts with a ayahuasca ceremony, where the opposite occurs (more alpha and theta, less beta waves) which leads to a reduced sense of self. These different effects have been extensively documented by making an EEG scan of people during the trip; whether a recreational user or used ceremoniously. [1]

If a completely different brain wave pattern is found, there is also another form of consciousness. Now the question naturally arises how it’s possible that a shamanistic ritual contributes to change in consciousness. The explanation is actually quite simple. The use of psychedelics isn’t the only way to deliberately change our state of consciousness.

The power of meditation
There has been a lot of research into various forms of meditation and the transformation of consciousness. EEG scans were made of people who practised different types of meditation, resulting in different forms of consciousness. [2][3][4][5]

During a shamanistic ritual a variety of meditation techniques are used, such as staring into a fire, rhythmic song and dance, chanting mantras or just pure silence. In short, a shamanistic ritual with psychedelics affects consciousness in two ways, namely by the administration of psychedelics and through undergoing meditation techniques.

Apparently this combination leads to a completely different form of consciousness than if you just make use of psychedelics. For that reason, some people hold the believe that the experience and therefore value of a shamanistic ritual is not comparable to tripping without any form of meditation accompanying it.

At the same time, it’s of course interesting to realize that we can influence our psychedelic trip by meditating. For that reason, the Azarius encyclopaedia now has an extensive chapter on meditation. If you want to start meditating, it’s prudent to realize that meditation is not always without risk. The article in the encyclopaedia will expand on this.


1. Erik Hoffmann, Effects of a Psychedelic, Tropical Tea, Ayahuasca, on the Electroencephalographic (EEG) Activity of the Human Brain During a Shamanistic Ritual.

2. J.P Banquet, Spectral analysis of the EEG in meditation, Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, Volume 35, Issue 2, August 1973, Pages 143–151.

3. H.-Y. Huang1† , P.-C. Lo1, EEG dynamics of experienced Zen meditation practitioners probed by complexity index and spectral measure, 2009, Vol. 33, No. 4 , Pages 314-321.

4. L.I. Aftanas,, S.A. Golocheikine, Human anterior and frontal midline theta and lower alpha reflect emotionally positive state and internalized attention: high-resolution EEG investigation of meditation Neuroscience Letters, Volume 310, Issue 1, 7 September 2001, Pages 57–60.

5. Tetsuya Takahashia, Tetsuhito Murataa,Toshihiko Hamadab, Masao Omoria, Hirotaka Kosakaa, Mitsuru Kikuchic, Haruyoshi Yoshidab, Yuji Wadaa Changes in EEG and autonomic nervous activity during meditation and their association with personality trait, International Journal of Psychophysiology Volume 55, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 199–207.

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/603/The_difference_between_ritual_and_recreational_use_of_psychedelics/
<![CDATA[Turn that frown upside down]]> http://azarius.es/news/602/Turn_that_frown_upside_down/

For a light experience

L-Tryptophan is a precursor to several important substances, such as serotonin. Serotonin plays a key role in balancing mood, appetite and sleep patterns. It also increases vitality and endurance.

5-HTP (Griffonia extract) is a dietary supplement for a good mood, better night's rest and to diminish appetite.

Otherwise a nice Mexican tarragon extract tea could do the job; especially when you’ve been drinking too much. It has a very mild anise flavour and a sweet taste. In Mexico, it's traditionally used as a tea to calm the stomach, relax the nerves and to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover.

Click for more after party supplements.

A step up

For the people who could use something a bit stronger: try two caps of Dance-E or Party-E and get your groove on.

You could also go for the complete Happy Caps pack, which lets you try out all the popular reformulated Happy Caps at a nice discount. This pack contains Party-E, Lounge-E, Sex-E, Euphor-E and Trip-E.

Libido boost

For when your libido has suffered a blow from heavy moping: Libido Forte and BlueXtreme are both very efficient in restoring that balance. One pill should do the trick.

A serious frown

If you're really not in a good mood right now, we recommend Kanna UC extract. This extract contains a higher amount of the alkaloid mesembrine than other Kanna extracts, making the euphoric and sedative effects much more potent.

Knock your socks off

And finally, for the people who want to relax their socks off, we suggest kratom. The kratom tree is indigenous to Thailand and Malaysia where the dried leaves are used as a substitute for opium. The main alkaloid in kratom is mitragynine, known for its positive effects on one's mood. It stimulates the body and increases activity.

There are various types of kratom available, but in general the effects are stimulating and euphoric at a lower dosage and more calming and narcotic at higher dosages. These effects are noticeable very quickly and can last for several hours.

Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/602/Turn_that_frown_upside_down/
<![CDATA[World Ayahuasca Conference 2014]]> http://azarius.es/news/598/World_Ayahuasca_Conference_2014/ ayahuasca brew. Many people have had life-altering experiences thanks to ayahuasca ceremonies. It can't be compared to tripping on a recreational substance, it's a powerful and spiritual journey to the self, a way to get profound answers. The extraordinary effect of ayahuasca is hard to describe to those that haven't experienced it.

But the world is scared of entheogenics, of losing control. The therapeutic benefits of ayahuasca are largely ignored by governments and scientists, because psychedelics are unfortunately considered a threat and many would rather ban their use than research the possibilities. The unclear legal status doesn't help. Countries that allow the use of ayahuasca usually only permit this when taken in religious context. The world at large knows very little about the wonders of this potion from the Amazon.

The World Ayahuasca Conference, organized by the ICEERS Foundation, aims to bring attention to this very problem and other topics related to ayahuasca. From 25 to 27 September in sunny Ibiza, Spain, the conference brings together leading scientists, legal experts, practitioners. environmentalists and other experts involved in the ayahuasca field, facilitating the interchange of experience and knowledge. Over 100 international speakers are scheduled to appear.

The 3-day program consists of workshops, debates, social events and the Ayahuasca Film Forum, which will show more than twenty full length documentary films on ayahuasca. The conference will take place in the Palau de Congressos of Ibiza. For address information, tickets and additional details on the conference, visit www.aya2014.com.]]>
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/598/World_Ayahuasca_Conference_2014/
<![CDATA[The father of the legalisation movement: Jack Herer]]> http://azarius.es/news/595/The_father_of_the_legalisation_movement__Jack_Herer/ highly praised cannabis strain carries your name, that has to mean something. This honour befalls Jack Herer (1939 - 2010), the activist who spearheaded the battle for legalizing cannabis in the US for decades. Not only did he bring to light numerous hidden facts, he also regularly trumpeted praise for cannabis.

No natural born stoner
Up to the age of 30, Jack Herer lived his life as a devoted republican. A war veteran who named his son after a conservative senator, a husband who wanted to divorce his first wife when he learned that she had smoked weed. These things changed radically when a new love managed to convince Jack to try it for himself.

Emperor of cannabis
After that first taste all his prejudices went overboard and Jack started researching. He unearthed articles from pre-war newspapers, propaganda from the depths of official archives, medication from days long past… and he published the book ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes’, printed on hemp paper and available online nowadays (although the printed version is still where it’s at). His passion earned him the title ‘the Emperor of Hemp’.

The hemp car
Jack Herer’s book will show you that biofuels are not as innovative as they are made to be nowadays. The idea is as old as the diesel engine. The engine presented by Rudolf Diesel on the 1900 World Fair, ran on peanut oil. And Henry Ford showed the public a car with a body made of hemp fibre and a tank full of hemp oil in 1941!

Hemp for victory!
For centuries, hemp was a major crop in the agricultural sector, both inside and outside the USA. In 1937, heavy taxes discouraged farmers to actually grow hemp. This resource was dearly missed during the Second World War. So, the US government ordered for a promotional film to be made, singing praise to the many blessings of this modest plant. After the war, hemp had to make way again and the tale was denied whenever someone asked about it… until Jack Herer managed to dig up the film:

The legend lives on
Jack Herer was a believer in the potential of hemp. A sustainable source of food and energy. A natural resource that can be made into paper, clothing and building materials. A natural medicine for many diseases. And a quite innocent substance for recreational use. In the US, cannabis is slowly coming out into the open after a witch hunt that lasted nearly 80 years. Let’s hope the American people can bring this freedom to the rest of the world. Long Live Jack Herer! He earns all the respect we can give him.]]>
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/595/The_father_of_the_legalisation_movement__Jack_Herer/
<![CDATA[Set and setting: please prepare for takeoff]]> http://azarius.es/news/596/Set_and_setting__please_prepare_for_takeoff/ When doing a few drinks in the local watering hole, there is no need for a conscious assessment of the circumstances. If you like the bar when sober, a few beers won’t change that. You need to prepare yourself for hallucinogens. It’s not just about substance and dose, but also about your current disposition and surroundings – or set and setting.

Narcotics versus Hallucinogens

Alcohol is a narcotic. It slows your brain down and narrows the area you can see. A few glasses make sure you notice a little bit less of what’s happening around you. And when you’ve had a bad day, you can drink to forget.

What you experience when taking a hallucinogen is the exact opposite. You notice more of what’s happening around you. You see little details that you normally don’t. You are more sensitive to the emotions of those around you. Music and films can deeply touch you.

A hallucinogen also makes you more sensitive to what is happening inside your mind. No running away by tripping. Your current mood will colour the trip and old memories might surface. That’s why you shouldn’t take any hallucinogen for the sake of it, and only do so after the right preparations.

In psychotherapy

From about 1950 to 1965 hallucinogens like psilocine (shrooms), LSD, DMT and 2C-B where successfully used in psychotherapy. The phrase set and setting was coined in that period. Set relates to the mental aspect, setting to the environment you are in.

In psychotherapy hallucinogens were and still are used to help those battling trauma, addiction or depression. The set definitely isn’t rosy in those matters. That is why a therapist takes care of a good setting and guidance during the trip.

Nowadays, the luxury of a therapist at your side is no given. And therapeutic use of hallucinogens at home is ill-advised! When tripping, we strongly recommend to prepare both set and setting well.

Set: feeling good

Never just sit down and trip away on any given night. Plan the trip, make sure you have enough time to prepare. Choose a time where stress and obligations are at a low and make sure you are feeling well. You can’t force yourself into the last bit, but there are things to be done here.

What you can do for preparation is up to you. To put you in the right direction, we offer some nuggets of wisdom out of our own experiences. Take care of all the little things that need to be sorted out, so nothing looms over your head. Exercise regularly. Meditate. Don’t get caught up in troubled news or watch heavy documentaries. Again, look for what fits your unique personality and go with that.

Setting: good vibes

It’s best to choose a comfortable, quiet environment. Your own home, perhaps? Or with a good friend? Maybe a nice little spot outdoors, surrounded by nature? It is important that you are at ease. It helps to prepare the spot. By tidying up and cleaning. And by creating a nice atmosphere.

Adventures are best shared with friends. Psychedelic adventures are the same. Be a little picky here. You can definitely do without disturbances. If you are doing this together, pick friends who bring a positive set and take the adventure every bit as serious as you do!

And then there is the role of tripsitter, the “designated driver” of this little happening. Not always needed, but well advised for those with little mileage when it comes to hallucinogens. His role? To support and calm down the tripper when needed, and blend into the background when not.

Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/596/Set_and_setting__please_prepare_for_takeoff/
<![CDATA[Is it a bud? Is it a bug? It's...well, both!]]> http://azarius.es/news/597/Is_it_a_bud__Is_it_a_bug__Itswell_both/

More information: Bud Bug grinder]]>
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/597/Is_it_a_bud__Is_it_a_bug__Itswell_both/
<![CDATA[Melatonin for a good night's sleep]]> http://azarius.es/news/592/Melatonin_for_a_good_nights_sleep/
Melatonin supplementation can come in handy with the use of several substances as well. Cannabis, for example, causes the body to produce extreme amounts of melatonin. After smoking a joint the melatonin levels in the blood can be 40 times higher than under normal conditions. It’s therefore not strange that smoking a joint makes you sleepy. At the same time it becomes clear why some fanatic potheads are confronted with sleep problems when they stop smoking.

At the moment cannabis intake is discarded, the body has to re-balance its own melatonin system. It might take a couple of days to several weeks before the body will produce melatonin on its own accord again. To quit smoking marihuana often becomes more difficult due to sleeping problems, which are caused by this melatonin deficiency.

Fortunately the solution for this problem is the same as for depressive people with sleeping difficulties: take melatonin from the first day you stop and you will easily fall asleep. In this way terminating your cannabis consumption becomes a lot easier.

Melatonin can also support those who regularly skip a night. The bodily melatonin production sharply increases when it becomes dark. From around 10 pm the melatonin levels start to rise, with a peak around 3 am. Afterwards the production stops and the melatonin levels steadily decrease.

This explains why - after partying through the night - it’s very difficult to fall asleep around 6 am, compared to an evening when you come home around 2 am. Do you combine partying with taking stimulants? Then falling asleep becomes even more tricky, because stimulants generate the production of adrenalin. This hormone has the opposite effect of melatonin: it makes you more alert and awake instead of sleepy.

Next to that stimulants cause serotonin release: this makes you extra happy when using them, but afterwards you might experience a dip. As melatonin is made out of serotonin, the serotonin shortage after using stimulants will likely cause a melatonin shortage, which makes it extra difficult to fall asleep. Also in this case melatonin supplementation is the solution. By taking melatonin after a night of partying, you will notice that you fall asleep easily.

On top of that melatonin has another beneficial effect on the brain. Next to being a sleep regulator, it is a strong antioxidant as well, with a brain-protecting mechanism. When you use lots of stimulants combined with intense physical action, oxidative stress increases, which impairs the brain tissue. Melatonin effectively counteracts this impairment. Shortly said: melatonin not only gives you a good night’s sleep, but also protects the brain from the negative effects of taking stimulants. Because of its multiple favourable effects in combination with substance use, melatonin is available as a supplement at Azarius.

Besides contributing to responsible substance use, melatonin has another special characteristic: like DMT melatonin is a tryptamine, which means it has a consciousness changing effect. Although the effect is mild, you will definitely notice it during your dreams as they will become more vivid and intense. Equally likely your dreams will develop into disjointed stories with bizarre features. Are you interested in lucid dreaming? Then melatonin is definitely recommended. Try combining it with one of the Azarius dream herbs, and you will experience your dreams becoming more bright and intense.

Are you interested in melatonin and would you like to try it out? Then also read the new chapter on ‘melatonin’ in the Azarius encyclopaedia. There you will find much more background information about possible side-effects, contraindications and dosage.
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/592/Melatonin_for_a_good_nights_sleep/
<![CDATA[The tree of knowledge]]> http://azarius.es/news/591/The_tree_of_knowledge/ The prohibition of hallucinogenic mushrooms dates back centuries

Since the 1st of December 2008 the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms has been forbidden in the Netherlands. The reason for this prohibition was a 24-year old French woman, who committed suicide while under the influence of mushrooms.

It goes without saying that every suicide is something to be taken serious, however, if this incident is put into perspective and the risks of mushrooms are compared to those caused by alcohol, the risks of mushrooms remain fairly low. The workgroup smartshops, the CAM (Coordination Centre for the Assessment and Monitoring of New Drugs) and Heffter Research Centre therefore state that the risk of psilocybin is too low to impose a general prohibition.

Furthermore, scientific research has proven that many people can benefit from a mushroom ceremony. An example is the 'Marsh Chapel Experiment', which was conducted at Harvard University in 1962. One group of students was given psilocybin; another group was given a placebo. The placebo contained the substance niacin and clearly brought about an altered state of consciousness, but without any psychedelic effects.

Both groups were followed during the rest of their lives. It turned out that the psilocybin users generally considered their trip as the most intense mystical experience they had ever had. Moreover, they claimed that this experience had positively changed them. The group that was given the placebo did not report any mystical experiences and considered the event to be of little importance. In short, according to this research psilocybin contributed to an expanded consciousness and therefore greater well-being.

Despite the fact that mushrooms entail little risk and could contribute to a greater well-being, they are still forbidden. This situation has caused many to wonder whether the reason for the prohibition truly is ‘safety for human health’, or whether there might be other interests behind it.

The prohibition of consciousness expansion is of all times; the Bible already tells us that God said to Adam and Eve: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” When taking a closer look at this threat, one does wonder why knowledge of good and evil could be harmful.

Aside from the fact that it is quite strange that man is not allowed to know the difference between good and evil, one has to understand that only in the 17th century it was decided that the forbidden fruit would be an apple. Before that time the forbidden fruit was something entirely different. When we look at an illustration of Adam and Eve from the 13th century, we see a very familiar image. Undeniably, the tree of knowledge is pictured as a mushroom here. Thus, already for centuries it has been forbidden to eat mushrooms since.

When studying the Bible, the frequency of threats herein is remarkable, for example: “You shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Imagine though, if man could decide for himself what is good or evil, wouldn't it be logical that humanity would en masse conclude that it is evil to stone someone, solely because he has a different belief and wishes to converse about it?

Therefore we should continue to ask ourselves what the real intention behind the prohibition of mushrooms is. It might be an idea to try and eat some mushrooms once; after all, it will show the difference between good and evil... ;)
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/591/The_tree_of_knowledge/
<![CDATA[Worldy News! Mundial here we come...]]> http://azarius.es/news/593/Worldy_News_Mundial_here_we_come/ Mundial 2014 here we come...

And if you wish to be there also you’d better be quick because the tickets for all three days have already been sold out, but the daily tickets are still available. The festival is this weekend on the 27th, 28th and 29th of June in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

What usually inspires most in world festivals besides the happy, relaxing vibe is that there’s so much new music en culture to encounter; though Mundial also attracts the better known artists such as: Asian Dub Foundation, Ibrahim Maalouf, The Sexican, Bomba Estereo etc...

But there’s more to Mundial than meets the music, such as: dance, Urban Climbing but also Urban Bee-keeping (that’s right), a skating-temple will be there to challenge young and old (and you'll also be able to find turntables on ramps), freerunning, BMX-ing, slacklining, there’s a theater garden hidden somewhere, an opportunity to make your own little vegetable garden, an opportunity to make your own art and much much more, but naturally we are most excited about the FeelGood Market where we’ll happily be standing on Saturday in order to supply you with an extra energy boost, or something to relax, or perhaps a vaporizer?

We hope to run into you, and if we do you can also count on us to bring the water pistols.

Click here for more information on Mundial.

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/593/Worldy_News_Mundial_here_we_come/